PrimeTime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield invited Hunter Shkolnik back to the show to get his legal perspective on some recent situations that unfortunately involve violence.
This segment focused on the murder of the young mother of three children, Rashanda Franklin. Ms. Franklin was shot, allegedly by her attorney ex-boyfriend, in her car while bringing two of her kids to school. The question posed by Ashleigh Banfield to her guests concerned temporary restraining orders (TRO). “Are they worth the paper they are written on?” It is not a physical barrier to someone intent on inflicting harm, in fact, the police responded within 30 seconds of the shooting, but it was already too late.
Hunter mentioned that there had been an altercation between Ms. Franklin and the ex-boyfriend the night before. Possibly if there had been a restraining order in place, the fight had been reported to police, this man would have been placed in police custody the previous evening. However, nothing can erase the terror the young children must feel having seen their mother shot to death in front of their eyes. The trauma of this event will sadly be with them for the rest of their lives.
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The family photos show a smiling, seemingly well adjusted and happy family. But as Hunter shares, “there is a heinous nature to this crime.” A premeditated murder where the son practiced the crime in advance in order to get it “right” and then attempts to burn down the family home while his sister is sleeping in another room.
Usually when capital murder is involved the death penalty is a possibility. In this case, the individual charged is a juvenile (17 years old), so the question being asked is whether or not he should be charged as an adult. His defense attorney will most certainly look to have him tried in “Juvie Court” as a minor.
A woman in her early 20’s, who lived in a shack with no electricity or plumbing. Her home did not have a door, just a blanket draped across the entrance. This particular fact makes her neighbor believe that her death was a murder, otherwise why would she not have escaped the flames that burned her to death?
Her neighbors suspect that her boyfriend may have been involved as she had broken up with him earlier that day. Hunter pointed out that police do tend to look a close family and friends when foul play is suspected. Due to the nature of the transient community within she lived, it could be difficult to track down the ex-boyfriend.